University Campus Suffolk’s chief executive, Richard Lister, is ‘hopeful’ institution will be able to award its own degrees by end of year

Richard Lister, provost and chief executive at UCS.

Richard Lister, provost and chief executive at UCS. - Credit: Archant

The university’s chief executive is “hopeful” it will be able to award its own degrees by the end of the year, as part of its progress towards independence.

University Campus Suffolk

University Campus Suffolk - Credit: Archant

University Campus Suffolk (UCS) took a major step forward in becoming independent when the findings of its Higher Education Review were published yesterday.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) judged its courses and its overall performance – resulting in a QAA Quality Mark being awarded. Richard Lister, provost and chief executive of UCS, is hopeful the QAA will now recommend the institution to be given the power to award its own degrees.

Currently, the QAA is scrutinising all aspects of the university as part of the process.

The University of East Anglia and the University of Essex have been validating its degrees since it opened in 2007.

“I think we are doing pretty well on this, I hope that the QAA, which is asked to do this on behalf of the Privy Council, will be able to put a recommendation to them in September of this year,” Mr Lister said. “Hopefully, if successful we will have the power to award degrees by the end of the year. It’s important that we do not take anything for granted and that we make sure that the report that’s written is favourable.”

If the university is given the power to award degrees it can then change its title, with the favourite likely to be the University of Suffolk. The Higher Education Review, which Mr Lister described as “glowing”, identified a number of examples of good practice including “the active involvement of employers” in helping to design courses.

The review also highlighted the positive impact that extra-curricular work experience opportunities had on student learning.

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Within the report, the inspectors made three recommendations. These included making improvements to postgraduate research programmes and updating literature when changes to the university are made.

Mr Lister added: “Now we are close to achieving independence it gives us self-confidence and an opportunity to drive the economy.”

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